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Evacuation of militants delayed after rebel leader killed

BEIRUT — A U.N.-brokered deal to evacuate more than 2,000 Islamic State fighters and other militants from rebel-held suburbs of Damascus on Saturday has been delayed after the killing of an insurgent leader, an organization that monitors the Syrian war said.

Israeli forces shoot dead two Palestinian assailants

JERUSALEM — Israeli security forces said they shot dead two Palestinian assailants on Saturday in separate incidents in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, as 12 weeks of heightened violence showed no sign of abating.

Australia counts cost of Christmas bushfires

MELBOURNE — Firefighters struggled on Saturday to contain out-of-control bushfires that have destroyed dozens of homes in one of Australia’s leading tourist areas, and emergency services warned of dangerous conditions and more fires to come in the New Year.

Over 100,000 flee flooding in South American countries

ASUNCION — More than 100,000 people have had to evacuate from their homes in the bordering areas of Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina due to severe flooding in the wake of heavy summer rains brought on by El NiÃffo, authorities said on Saturday.

Record 12,000 candidates register for Iran’s election

DUBAI — Almost 12,000 candidates have registered for Iran’s February parliamentary election, state television said on Saturday, breaking participation records at a time of political uncertainty in the Islamic Republic.

Serbia arrests 79 in anti-corruption sweep

BELGRADE — Serbian police arrested 79 people including a former minister on corruption charges including abuse of office, money laundering and financial crime, the interior minister said.

13 migrants drown off Greek island

ATHENS — Seven children, four men and two women drowned when a boat carrying migrants capsized off the tiny Greek island of Farmakonisi, coastguard officials said on Wednesday as a refugee exodus towards Europe continued despite winter cold.

Global oil prices hit 11-year low, supply expands

NEW YORK — Brent crude oil prices hit their lowest in more than 11 years on Monday, while U.S. crude flirted with seven-year lows on more signs that swelling global supply looked set to outpace tepid demand again next year.

Waste spill buries buildings in China, 85 missing

SHENZHEN, China — At least 85 people were missing Monday a day after a giant flow of mud and construction waste spewed out of an overfull dump in a boomtown and buried 33 buildings in its latest industrial disaster.

UN endorses Syria peace plan

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution endorsing an international road map for a Syria peace process, a rare show of unity among major powers on a conflict that has claimed more than a quarter million lives.

Rwandans approve extension of presidential term limits

KIGALI — Rwandans voted overwhelmingly to support changes to the constitution that would allow President Paul Kagame to extend his term in office, possibly until 2034, provisional results showed on Saturday.

Envoy sent to Burundi after ‘chilling’ violence

NAIROBI/UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Wednesday for urgent talks to avert civil war in Burundi as the central African country defended the actions of its security forces and rejected any idea of stationing foreign troops on its soil.

Authorities find 19 bodies at mass grave

MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities on Tuesday said they found 19 bodies buried in a mass grave in the southwestern state of Guerrero, where last year 43 students were kidnapped and apparently massacred.

Can the Paris agreement protect poor farmers from climate change?

BARCELONA — Purity Gachanga is one small-scale farmer who is beating climate change. On her several acres of land in central Kenya, she keeps cows and goats that produce milk, grows trees for fodder, and collects water to irrigate her food crops in a pond filled with tilapia fish.

Afghan forces end siege at Spanish embassy

KABUL — Afghan security forces suppressed a suicide attack on a guest house attached to the Spanish embassy in Kabul, killing three Taliban fighters after hours of intermittent gunfire and explosions that lasted into the early hours of Saturday.